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Working towards Six Sigma would definitely be of great benefit to Achiffa - Essay Example

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Achiffa’s operations are riddled with problems that require the cooperation of all team members (employees) in order to make amends. They include both hard and soft problems. …
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Working towards Six Sigma would definitely be of great benefit to Achiffa
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Download file to see previous pages They include both hard and soft problems. The soft problems are the ones which are unstructured and therefore require further analysis before they can be resolved. Checkland (1981) Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in terms of the seven stage approach was utilised to obtain important information and later to facilitate improvements to the existing system of operations. Based on the root definitions a conceptual model was put forward indicating the areas that need immediate improvements. It was recommended that Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act modelled be considered. It was also recommended that quality management be a key aspect of improving the system and that the implementation of Six Sigma be considered in future. Introduction Achiffa operations is affected by a number of problems, most of which are related. Some of these problems cannot be solved using traditional or hard approaches to problem solving. It therefore means that another approach has to be found. These problems are more related to human activities and should be carefully dealt with. SSM is a framework that has developed to deal with problems of this nature (Checkland 1981; Checkland and Scholes 1990; Checkland 1999). The role of SSM is to investigate, gain understanding and identify problems. SSM is based on system thinking in that it views the problem domain in a holistic way with the recognition that all parts of the organisation are connected. This suggests that when changes are made to one part other parts of the system will be affected (Checkland 1999). Operations at Achiffa Snack Foods Achiffa Snack Foods purchases potatoes from various suppliers for it operations. These supplies are transformed during the production process into a total of six products including fries, potato wedges and hash browns. Achiffa customers are restaurants, supermarkets. However, waste products and rejects are sold to farmers. After production the goods are transported to regional distribution centres from which logistic providers - in this case FreshDist takes the products directly to the customers. The diagram below is an input-output model which provides a basic illustration of the operations at Achiffa. Input-output Model of Operations at Achiffa Snack Foods Adapted from: Kumar and Suresh (2009, p. 9) Customers are concerned about prices and so Achiffa has to ensure that the supply chain is managed in such a way that the company’s products are competitive. In order for this to be possible production has to be managed in an efficient and effective manner. Therefore the layout of the production area is very important as it helps to facilitate the smooth flow of operations. Additionally, Achiffa needs to ensure that production is planned in such a way that time is not taken up with setting up machines for processing several items in one day. The scheduling of production should also be linked to demand as well as the space available for storing the products – this is termed capacity management. It therefore means that the logistics provider would be required to work in accordance with the schedule provided for delivery. Correcting these problems would help reduce lean time by improving on time delivery, eliminate waste and reduce cost (McCreary 2009). It is important that management consistently examine as well as monitor the quality of service it provides to customers with a view to enhancing it. Achiffa should also ensure that the jobs of all persons involved in the production of its products encourage contribution to the success of the business. Arrangements should therefore be made to have enough supplies on hand so that products are replenished without undue delay. The Use of SSM to Resolve Problems at Achiffa SSM may be used to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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